Nokia announces first high-end Android phone; return to Singapore market still up in the air

Nokia's new device, the Nokia 8, is the Finnish brand's long-awaited flagship and attempt to break into the premium smartphone market.
Nokia's new device, the Nokia 8, is the Finnish brand's long-awaited flagship and attempt to break into the premium smartphone market. ST PHOTO: LESTER HIO

SINGAPORE - Nokia, the Finnish brand once synonymous with mobile phones, announced its first high-end Android device on Thursday (Aug 17) but the company has yet to confirm if it will finally officially return to the Singapore market.

Since Nokia phones were reborn under the company HMD Global, which owns the rights to the brand, it has produced a string of budget to mid-tier phones - none of which were officially sold in Singapore.

And though it held a product demonstration for its latest device, the Nokia 8, in Singapore, HMD's head of product marketing for Asia-Pacific Henri Mattila would say only that the Nokia 8 will "definitely come to South-east Asia".

The latest model is Nokia's long-awaited flagship and its attempt to break into the premium smartphone market dominated by the likes of Apple, Samsung, LG, Huawei and Sony. 

The new Nokia 8 is specced to match today's flagships, sporting a respectable 5.3-inch quad-HD display, top-end Snapdragon 835 processor and running the latest Android 7.1 Nougat operating system. 

All that is encased in a slim, all-aluminium body, which has subtle curves throughout for better handling and grip.

The Nokia 8 is the first flagship smartphone in the Nokia stable since the brand returned to the market after a three-year absence, led by HMD Global. The company was set up by former Nokia executives and bought the rights to use the Nokia brand last year. 

It retails at 599 euros (S$960) and will be launched in early September.

The device is also the first Nokia phone to come with dual cameras on its rear, which were developed in collaboration with lens company Zeiss.

Both rear cameras as well as the front-facing camera are 13-megapixel shooters. A new feature, named dual sight, lets users record video or take pictures with both rear and front cameras at the same time and even live-stream from both cameras to Facebook or YouTube.


Costing S$960, the Nokia 8 comes with dual cameras on its rear. ST PHOTO: LESTER HIO



A new feature called dual sight allows users to record video or take pictures with both rear and front cameras at the same time. ST PHOTO: LESTER HIO

The phone also features better audio recording with what Nokia calls Ozo audio. The Nokia 8 can record 360-degree audio due to the three microphones located at the top and bottom of the phone, leading to deeper, more natural audio.

The Nokia 8 will come with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage, with expandable memory using a microSD card of up to 256GB, and supports dual-SIM card use, along with a non-removable 3090mAh battery and a headphone jack.

Four colours will be available: polished blue, tempered blue, polished copper and steel.